The South Fulton Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the South Fulton community’s access to art and culture, was selected to receive a Bridge Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts, an organization supporting arts programs, artists and local governments statewide through research, networking and opportunities for funding.

Bridge Grants are one of six awards offered by the GCA throughout the year, assisting arts organizations in need of financial backing following the pandemic. Chosen applicants will receive grants ranging from $12,000 to $50,000 to benefit their programs, a total that varies depending on each nonprofit’s budget. The South Fulton Institute was one of 162 organizations selected from around the state to receive a Bridge Grant for the fiscal year 2024.

The Georgia Council for the Arts’ executive director, Tina Lilly, said in a statement that investing in small-scale cultural and artistic programs benefits Georgia’s communities as a whole by increasing tourism, improving local economies and encouraging participation and camaraderie among residents.

“These vital funds bring life into communities all across the state. Music, theatre, dance and visual art attract tourists, bring community members together, teach children self-confidence, revitalize downtowns and more,” Lilly said. “Through this program, GCA is able to support vibrant communities where people want to live and businesses want to locate.”

Jennifer Bauer-Lyons, executive director of the South Fulton Institute, said the organization plans to use funding from the grant to expand two of its projects that expose the community to various outlets of creativity.

“This grant will help continue to grow our Courageous Conversations internal programming and our partner program, Create,” Bauer-Lyons said. “Both of these signature programs work to bring accessible arts programs to the South Fulton community through play readings, short films and many other mediums.”

Create and Courageous Conversations are two collaboration-based projects that promote the fostering of relationships between artists in the South Fulton community, helping the SFI accomplish its mission of offering free and high-quality artistic resources to residents who may not be able to access them otherwise. 

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Georgia Council for the Arts,” Bauer-Lyons said. “Not only for the financial support, but also for the true partnership in providing resources to help with the sustainability of arts organizations across the entire state.”